ADSL Modem/Router

Routing is the core of your shared network

When you set-up a shared connection you are essentially setting up an Ethernet network - wired, wireless or both - around your home and/or office, with a connection to the Internet attached to that network.

The first thing to understand is that every device on the Ethernet network can connect to any other device. If you have three computers attached to the Ethernet network then they can all connect to each other to share files, access printers or even play multi-user games.

If connected together by Ethernet cable, they are connected together through a 'switch'. If connected together by wireless Ethernet, they wirelessly connect to a local Ethernet access point. You may also have a combination of wireless and wired to form your Ethernet network. Of course, while you can now connect to all the devices on your network, you still cannot connect to the Internet! To do this you will need a router also attached to the Ethernet network. A router provides the ability to 'route' traffic between one network and another - in our case between our local Ethernet network and the Internet. Because the router is attached to the Ethernet network, all of the devices can see it. Indeed, each of the devices is configured in such a way so they know that if the user wants to access the Internet, they need to direct traffic (data) to the router. Because the router is also attached to the Internet, it will pass the traffic on from the Ethernet network out to the Internet and back again.

A router can be a dedicated hardware device with firmware (software) running, or it can be another computer with the appropriate router software running on the operating system. This buying guide deals with the former - dedicated hardware device solutions - which provide reliability, simplicity and high availability in a cost-effective package.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Staff Writers

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?